A Virtue Rewarded

About seven or eight years ago, I was making Japanese food at our previous home in West Los Angeles. I had a rare delicacy — a yuzu fruit, a small Japanese citrus that, on the odd occasion you can find it, sells for about $3-$4 a fruit. Yellow and wrinkly, about the size of a lime, it is filled with seeds, and you’re lucky if you get a few drops of the pungent, floral juice from within. More useful is the aromatic zest, which the Japanese will shave over tempura, use to brighten sauces and fold into dishes both savory and sweet.

Koi pond, bamboo & yuzu tree

Koi pond, bamboo, afternoon sun & yuzu tree

I have no recollection what I did with the yuzu that evening. But what I do remember is planting several of the seeds in a pot outside in the garden the next morning. A couple weeks later, I had a few bright green seedlings which somehow over time became reduced to one gawky, spindly little yuzu tree. More

Is it Poetry or Is it SPAM?

Although I have a Master’s degree in creative writing and have been published in various poetry journals, you wouldn’t know it from some of my poetry.

The other night I lay in bed wide awake at 2 a.m., thinking about a poem. I got up and went to the computer. Here’s the poem I wrote:


You contribute
to your 401K
and again.

You watch
as your money
earns interest.

*   *   *

*   *   *

Often, my silliest poems are about food. More

A Fish, a Beach & a Lazy Afternoon in Mexico

One afternoon my wife and our (at the time) young son were strolling down a wide, deserted beach along a malecón in Mazatlán, Mexico. It was around lunchtime, and the tall spires of the Pacifico Brewery in the distance were inspiring an almost religious-like thirst.

Su amigo, on the beach in Mazatlán

As fortune would have it, a gentleman came running from one of the dilapidated fish joins lining the malecón down the beach after us, promising delicious food and cold beer. A fisherman had just come in, he said, with a particular fish they rarely ever had — one of the best in all of Mexico! However skeptical we may have been about the story, we were ready for the pitch, so we followed him back up to the empty plastic tables and chairs and Tecaté umbrellas awaiting us away from the water. More

Soupe de Poisson


While browsing the fish aisle at my favorite Japanese market the other day, I spotted a package of fish bones. Always one to be attracted to the stranger items in the refrigerated section, I added it to my basket.

There really aren’t that many things you can do with a package of fish bones. The most obvious is a French-style fish soup. And since my father was coming for lunch a couple days later to celebrate his 87th birthday and French fish soup is one of his favorite things, that’s what I decided to do! More

So This Skinny Girl Walks Into a Bar…

The Bacon Tree

Tomorrow one of my skinny yoga teacher sisters is coming for dinner. (Yes, I’ve got two.) She’s not exactly a vegetarian – she eats a lot of fish, which is okay in the culinary curriculum of many vegetarians. (Fish being some sort of pseudo-animal, I guess, more related to an avocado than a pig.) There should be a new name for these types of eaters — quasitarians, maybe… or rationalitarians. She will also eat “small quantities” of meat. I’m not sure exactly where the line is on that one. I think I’ll play it safe and grill some whole sea bass, slice up some tuna crudo, make a couple pizzas. More

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